When you are looking for fasteners, you are trying to evaluate the situation and pick the best way to put materials together. Fastening one or more pieces of light, medium, or heavy gauge sheet metal together may require the use of adhesives, riveting, or self-tapping screws. If an application requires access or several layers, tapping screws may be the best option.
First, what is a self-tapping screw? Tapping screws eliminate the need for drilled holes, as they are designed to cut their own hole as it is screwed into the materials. This creates a good snug fit between the mating threads and allows the parts to be reassembled if necessary.
The three basic types of tapping screws are Self-Tapping, Self-Drilling, and Self-Piercing.
Self-Tapping: Cuts its own thread while being driven into the mating material. The thread cutting screw makes a small hole while entering the material which creates a tight friction fit between the threads. This helps fight vibration loosening and allows the parts to be taken apart if needed. Mostly used in 1-2-layer thin gauge sheet metal applications.
Self-Drilling: Like self-tapping, this type of screw has a drill point which allows it to cut through thick and hard material without having to drill a pilot hole.
Self-Piercing: This screw can pierce the material at sharp angles between 25 to 30 degrees at high speeds.
Note: The Self-Tapping family of screws may create chips of metal between the mating parts. This limits their use in electrical, food, and other applications.
To learn more about how to use self-tapping screws, contact us at ProvenProductivity@bossard.com.Self-Tapping Screws: What They Are and When to Use Them by Bossard